Numayra. Excavations at the Early Bronze Age Townsite in Jordan, 1977–1983
Chesson, Meredith, R. Thomas Schaub, and Walter Rast, Numayra. Excavations at the Early Bronze Age Townsite in Jordan, 1977–1983 (Eisenbrauns, 2022), pp. 972, w/11 color and 558 b&w illustrations.Abstract
The emergence of ancient urbanism has long held the interest of archaeologists attempting to understand the origins of inequality and its links to early urban life. This volume presents the results of archeological research at the Early Bronze Age sites of Numayra and Ras an-Numayra, conducted to investigate the rise of Early Bronze Age urban society, with a distinctive focus on links between environmental and social systems.

The Dead Sea Plain excavations at Numayra and Ras an-Numayra uncovered extraordinarily well-preserved architecture, artifacts, and faunal and paleoethnobotanical remains that offer exciting and profound insights that enhance our understanding of life in these walled settlements. Under the codirection of R. Thomas Schaub and Walter E. Rast, the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain team designed their research with an explicitly anthropological focus, based on the New Archaeology’s principles for archaeological knowledge production. Their excavations at these sites in the mid-1970s and early 1980s heralded the now-common approach combining archaeology, paleoethnobotany, palynology, bioarchaeology, zooarchaeology, geology, and ethnoarchaeology into the research project, with a multidisciplinary team in the field to systematize collection and sampling procedures.

These excavations at Numayra and Ras an-Numayra represent a watershed moment in the history of archaeological research in the southern Levant, setting new standards for scientific methods and a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the past.

The publication project was directed by Meredith Chesson, R. Thomas Schaub, and Walter Rast.

For purchasing and more information, please visit the publisher's website.

Kition-Bamboula VIII. Le port de guerre de Kition
Fourrier, Sabine, Oliver Callot, and Marguerite Yon, ed. Kition-Bamboula VIII. Le port de guerre de Kition (MOM Editions, 2022), pp. 336.Abstract

From 1984 to 1999, the French archaeological mission of Kition, under the supervision of M. Yon, conducted extensive excavations to the north of the Bamboula sanctuary. These excavations revealed the remains of shipsheds of the Classical period, among the best preserved in the Mediterranean, which opened to the north on a closed harbour basin. This book offers a detailed and cross-cutting study of this outstanding discovery: the building is contextualized in its paleo-environment (both at the local and regional levels), the chronology of its different phases is established, its architecture is carefully described and restored for the missing parts (superstructure). Finally, we assess the importance of this military harbour for the history of Kition, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, at the time of the Classical kingdom (4th century BC) and at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. The volume is completed by a study of the ceramics from the Roman period discovered in the filling of the basin.

The archives of the excavation are available on the open access web-portal

The full volume is available with open access through OpenEditions Books.

The publication project funded by the White Levy Program was directed by Prof. Jean-Christophe Sourisseau.

Excavations at Tilmen Höyük I. The Fortification System in the Lower Town.
Orsi, Valentina, Excavations at Tilmen Höyük I. The Fortification System in the Lower Town. (Ante Quem: OrientLab Series Maior Volume 7, 2022), pp. 522 + 115 plates.Abstract

With a contribution by Vittoria Cardini

This is the final report on the excavations of the lower town at Tilmen Höyük, a capital city of the Middle Bronze Age located at the fringes of the North Syrian Plains (Gaziantep province, South-Eastern Turkey). The publication covers the results of the excavations undertaken between 2003 and 2008 by the joint Turco-Italian team directed by N. Marchetti, and includes a detailed analysis of topography, stratigraphy, architecture, ceramics and finds.
The site of Tilmen Höyük lies in the Islahiye valley, which connects the lower Orontes valley to the central Taurus southern piedmont. The region belongs to the Inner Syria cultural contexts, and held a highly strategic significance, over the course of time, for the connections between Upper Mesopotamian and Levantine lowlands on the one hand the Anatolian highlands on the other. Settled since the LC period, the city attained its major flourishing during MBA 2, when it is probably to be identified with ancient Zalbar/Zalwar. Key evidence suggest that the site hosted a Babylonian trading station, which was part of a network parallel to that of Assur running from the Middle Euphrates to Cilicia. With its massively enclosed lower town and fortified acropolis, the ‘Cyclopean’ basalt blocks architecture, Tilmen Höyük is one of the most monumental cities of the area in this period.

This first volume in the series is authored by Dr. Valentina Orsi.

The front materials are available HERE.

Koukounaries I. Mycenaean Pottery from Selected Contexts
Koehl, Robert B. Koukounaries I. Mycenaean Pottery from Selected Contexts (Archaeopress, 2021), pp. 416, w/158 b&w and 16 colour plates.Abstract

With a contribution by Richard Jones

The excavations on the Koukounaries Hill, Paros, Greece, conducted under the direction of Demetrius U. Schilardi for the Archaeological Society at Athens from 1976 to 1992, revealed a 12th century B.C.E. Mycenaean building, an Iron Age settlement, and an Archaic sanctuary. Koukounaries I: Mycenaean Pottery from Selected Contexts presents the pottery from five areas inside the building: three large storerooms, the main east-west corridor, and a small shrine, as well as the pottery from a limited reoccupation after the building’s fire destruction and abandonment. The ceramics from the main occupation phase comprise the largest and best-preserved domestic assemblage from the 12th century B.C.E. in the Cyclades and offer important evidence for the continuation of Mycenaean culture after the destruction of the mainland palatial citadels. The small deposits of pottery from the reoccupation phase, provide important stratigraphic evidence for defining the Late Helladic IIIC ceramic sequence. The volume also considers the function of the individual spaces within the building, based largely on the patterns of shape distributions and quantities, with the statistics for each context presented in a series of appendices. Other issues are also explored, including the evidence for itinerant potters, the trade in antique vases, and the place of origin of the settlers who founded and inhabited the Mycenaean building on the summit of the Koukounaries Hill.

The volume is authored by Robert B. Koehl.
For more information or to purchase the volume, please visit the publisher's website.

Lagash I: The Ceramic Corpus from Al-Hiba, 1968–1990. A Chrono-Typology of the Pottery Tradition in Southern Mesopotamia during the 3rd and Early 2nd Millenium BCE
Renette, Steve, Lagash I: The Ceramic Corpus from Al-Hiba, 1968–1990. A Chrono-Typology of the Pottery Tradition in Southern Mesopotamia during the 3rd and Early 2nd Millenium BCE, Vol.I (Brepols, 2021), pp. 450+XXIV, 228 b/w ill. + 1 colour ill., 366 b/w tables.Abstract
Six seasons of excavations (1968-90) at the southern Mesopotamian site of al-Hiba, the ancient city of Lagash, retrieved one of the largest datasets of pottery spanning the entire third and early second millennium BCE.

Between 1968 and 1990, Donald P. Hansen and Vaughn E. Crawford directed six seasons of excavations at al-Hiba, the ancient Sumerian city-state Lagash. Overseen by Edward L. Ochsenschlager, the team documented one of the largest ceramic datasets from a southern Mesopotamian site spanning the entire third and the early second millennium BCE. With the availability of digital tools and relational database technology, the Al-Hiba Publication Project, led by Holly Pittman at the Penn Museum, has now analyzed these results in this publication by Steve Renette. As a case-study in the difficulties of working with legacy data, the publication project also assesses how the original recording methodology structures and limits the interpretation of these datasets. This first volume of the Lagash publications presents the ceramic corpus organized in a chrono-typology that traces the development of the pottery tradition through the Early Dynastic, Akkadian, Ur III, and Isin-Larsa periods. Often confirming well-established trends in general Mesopotamian ceramic development, this dataset from the south-eastern part of the Mesopotamian alluvium also introduces an underappreciated degree of regional variation.

For more information or to purchase the volume, please visit the publisher's website.

The Excavation Report of Burial Pits Associated with the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng
Zhang, Changping, The Excavation Report of Burial Pits Associated with the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (Beijing, The Science Press, 2021), pp. 249, 172 figs., 70 tables.Abstract

This is the report on the excavation of the secondary pits associated with the tomb of Marquis Yi, ruler of the state of Zeng, who died in 433 BCE. The tomb is located at Suizhou in Hubei province, China. Excavated in 1978, it is the richest tomb known from the entire pre-imperial period and one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in China. The tomb contained ten metric tons of bronze artifacts—ritual vessels and, along with them, a tuned set of 65 bells weighing 2,500 kg and bearing inscriptions about music theory. The bell inscriptions constitute the earliest text on music theory known from China; they are hugely important for the light they shed on the rather different music theory of later periods in Chinese history and also for comparison with roughly contemporary texts from Greece. An archaeological report on Marquis Yi’s tomb was published in 1989, and most of the tomb’s furnishings are permanently displayed at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan. Temporary exhibitions of selected items have traveled to museums in many countries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington DC. 

In January of 1999, a row of five secondary pits was discovered 15 meters east of Marquis Yi’s tomb. The pits were excavated by Zhang Changping, the director of this publication project, who was a researcher at the Hubei Provincial Institute of Archaeology at the time. Pit No. 1 contained 465 bronze objects or object fragments of forms not previously known. Their patterned disposition in the pit suggests that they all belonged to a single structure. Our guess is that they are structural parts of a canopy, bronze fittings of wooden parts that have disintegrated. Some of them evidently were made so that they could be fitted together, dismantled for storage, and reassembled at need. As for the other four pits, they contained orderly rows of pottery urns, jars, pots, plates, lids, and so forth, many of which were found sealed with locking mechanisms and had held food. These perhaps were funerary offerings for the marquis’ consumption in the afterlife.

The Excavation Report of Burial Pits Associated with the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng was sponsored by the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program in 2015 and published in Sept. 2021 by the Science Press, Beijing, the biggest academic press in China. For more information or to purchase the volume, please visit the publisher's website.


Barāqish / Yathill (Yemen) 1986-2007. Vol. I: Excavations of Temple B and Related Research and Restoration. Vol. II: Extramural Excavations in Area C and Overview Studies
Antonini, Sabina, and Francesco G. Fedele, ed. Barāqish / Yathill (Yemen) 1986-2007. Vol. I: Excavations of Temple B and Related Research and Restoration. Vol. II: Extramural Excavations in Area C and Overview Studies (Archaeopress, 2021), pp. 944.Abstract
This first volume of the study is particularly devoted to the temple of god ʿAthtar dhu-Qabḍ (Temple B), dated to the second half of the 1st millennium BCE. Six chapters fully illustrate its excavation, architecture, restoration, findings, inscriptions, and dating. The contribution of this work and monument to regional history transcends its local significance. The report is framed by ten chapters detailing the historiography of research on Barāqish, the initial surveys carried out in 1986-1987, the architecture and restoration of Temple A together with the extramural excavation at the adjacent curtain wall, the cultic equipment, and radiocarbon datings.
The core of the second volume of the study is a final report on Area C, an exploratory
dissection through the western edge of the Barāqish mound outside the curtain wall, and
a unique operation for Yemen until now. Eight chapters detail the excavation, stratigraphy,
and geoarchaeology (from about 800 BCE to the present), in addition to radiocarbon
chronology, cultural finds, animal and plant remains, economy, major historical events, and
unique evidence for trade. Four further chapters offer a glimpse of settlement archaeology
for Sabaean Yathill and the survey of a religious centre to the west, together with a first
typology of Minaean pottery and an epigraphic and political-historical overview for Barāqish
and the Jawf. The contributors, Sabina Antonini and Francesco G. Fedele, are recognized experts in South Arabian archaeology.
The Citadel of Dur-Katlimmu in Middle and Neo-Assyrian Times
Kühne, Hartmut, ed. The Citadel of Dur-Katlimmu in Middle and Neo-Assyrian Times (3 Volumes: Harassowitz Verlag, Berichte der Ausgrabung Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad / Dūr-Katlimmu vol. XII, 2021).Abstract

Following BATSH 2 (2005) on the Post-Assyrian to Roman period, the three-part volume BATSH 12 on the Middle and Neo-Assyrian period (c. 1300–550 BC), also edited by Hartmut Kühne, concludes the publication of the excavation at the citadel mound of Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad between 1978 and 1988.
Part 1 (text) comprises 17 chapters. A thorough documentation of the topography of Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad at the dawn of the excavation in 1978 is followed in four chapters (2-5) by description and interpretation of the stratigraphy, architecture, cuneiform archive, and graves of the Middle Assyrian levels. Chapters 14 and 15 cover the Neo-Assyrian evidence in a similar way. Both can be checked against the field record summarized in chapter 18 (part 2) and ultimately against the field diaries published online. Selected Middle Assyrian objects groups are analyzed in chapters 6 to 10 (clay sealing devices, scarab impressions, early iron, glass, and ceramics). Aspects of Middle Assyrian administration and the etymology of Duara are treated in chapters 11 and 13. Chapter 16 evaluates the fragments of a Neo-Assyrian sculptured orthostat. The urban and socio-economic-environmental development and the historical role and significance of Dūr-Katlimmu in both periods are debated in chapters 12 and 17 respectively.
Besides chapter 18 part 2 covers the catalogues of the scarab impressions (19), the grave goods (21) and the remaining objects of the Middle (20) and Neo-Assyrian (22) periods. Each chapter is preceded by English abstracts/summaries on which the Arabic part is based. In addition, the publication is supplemented by a cassette with 57 colour plates and folding plans in part 3.
In collaboration with:
H. Kühne, P. Pfälzner, J. Rohde, S. Kulemann-Ossen/G. Preuss, H. Dohmann, S. Seidlmayer, K. Tantrakarn/T. Kikugawa/Y. Abe/I. Nakai, E. Cancik-Kirschbaum, C. Hess, J. Bussiliat/K. Gnybek/A. Kaeselitz/H. Kühne/J. Rohde.

The publication project was directed by Dr. Hartmut Kühne
For ordering information, please visit the publisher's website HERE

Troia 1987–2012: Grabungen und Forschungen III. Troia VI bis Troia VII: Ausgehende mittlere und späte Bronzezeit
Pernicka, Ernst, Magda Pieniążek, Peter Pavúk, and Diane Thumm-Doğrayan, Troia 1987–2012: Grabungen und Forschungen III. Troia VI bis Troia VII: Ausgehende mittlere und späte Bronzezeit (Bonn, Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, 2020), pp. 1129, w/ 485 (116 col.) illustrations, 2 vols.Abstract

In view of the 200th anniversary of Heinrich Schliemann's birthday one could well ask: »Why is Troy so important for archaeology?« Apart from the fact that Troy is mentioned in the earliest literary tradition in Europe it is also an important site that was more or less continuously inhabited for almost four millennia, which naturally made it a reference site for Bronze Age chronology of the Aegean area, western Anatolia, the Balkans and beyond. This second volume in the series of four planned so far on the Bronze Age remains of Troy presents results of the new excavations and investigations directed by Manfred Korfmann and Ernst Pernicka between 1987 and 2012 and provides much new evidence on the development of Troy in the second millennium BCE. It describes in great detail its ups and downs during this period, targeting especially its heydays in the second half of the millennium. With the results of the more recent excavations in western Anatolia at hand, Troy is no longer seen as a unique phenomenon but rather as one of several major fortified settlements in this area. It was certainly the largest and dominant site in the Troad and may have drawn its prosperity from the fertile agricultural land in its surrounding and from flourishing local industries. Nevertheless, the material culture shows wide-ranging contacts and demonstrates that Troy was an important participant in the exchange networks ranging from the eastern Mediterranean to the northern Aegean and probably also the Balkans.

Part 1 begins with a discussion of chronology and periodisation by Peter Pavúk complemented with a detailed contribution by Ralf Becks on stratigraphy, individual buildings and other features of Troy VI and VIIa and by Manfred Klinkott on the construction of the fortifications. The pottery is presented by Peter Pavúk on Troy VI Early and Middle and Wendy Rigter on the following periods VI Late and VIIa. Special chapters are devoted to the first systematic assessment of pithoi and other storage containers, as well as storage strategies at Troy by Diane Thumm-Doğrayan, an analysis of Cypriot finds by Ekin Kozal, and Penelope Mountjoy presents the summary of her long-term studies on Mycenaean pottery. Part 2 is dedicated to the small finds consisting of metal, glass/faience, clay and stone by Magda Pieniążek with contributions of several co-authors. The concluding chapter by Peter Pavúk and Magda Pieniążek summarizes the most significant results of the recent excavations and discusses them from regional and interregional perspectives.

Please visit the publication webpage for Vol. I of the series.
For more information or to purchase the volumes, please visit the publisher's website.

Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba, Cyprus. Early and Middle Bronze Age Tombs Excavated in 1913. Tombs 1–47
Webb, Jennifer M. Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba, Cyprus. Early and Middle Bronze Age Tombs Excavated in 1913. Tombs 1–47 (Nicosia, Astrom Editions; Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Volume 152, 2020), pp. 530.Abstract

with a contribution by Hedvig Landenius Enegrenand and Ina Vanden Berghe


This volume, of 545 pages, is the full publication of 47 Early and Middle Bronze Age tombs excavated at Lapithos on the north coast of Cyprus in 1913 by L.H.D. Buxton of Oxford University under the aegis of John Myres. Prior to the project of which it is the result, it had long been assumed that no archival record existed. On the contrary, the field notebook was located and proved remarkably useful in reconstructing tomb plans and in situ assemblages. Lapithos was one of few coastal settlements on Cyprus in the prehistoric Bronze Age. It was a major consumer of metal and probably also both a production centre and a participant in the international trade networks of the Eastern Mediterranean in the early second millennium BC. Chemical analyses of over 400 artefacts suggest that it was importing tin bronze in significant quantity, along with finished metal objects and ornaments of faience, lead, silver and gold.

The volume is the second of two by the same author on tombs excavated at Lapithos in the early 20th century. It presents the full documentation of 47 tombs and over 1000 objects, with plans, drawings and colour photographs throughout. It includes an account of the history of the excavation and of the archival record, a specialist chapter on mineralised organic remains and a discussion of tomb architecture, burial practice, the ceramic and metal assemblages, imports, and chronology within the wider context of the Middle Bronze Age of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.


Our profile of the author and their work may be found HERE
For more information, or to order, please visit the publisher's website: www.astromeditions


The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500
Davies, Vanessa, ed. The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500 (Brill: Harvard Egyptological Studies, Volume 10, 2020), pp. 525 + xviii.Abstract

The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500 presents the results of excavations directed by George A. Reisner and led by Arthur C. Mace. The site of Naga ed-Deir, Egypt, is unusual for its continued use over a long period of time (c. 3500 BCE–650 CE). Burials in N 2000 and N 2500 date to the First Intermediate Period/Middle Kingdom and the Coptic era. In keeping with Reisner’s earlier publications of Naga ed-Deir, this volume presents artifacts in chapter-length studies devoted to a particular object type and includes a burial-by-burial description. The excavators’ original drawings, notes, and photographs are complemented by a contemporary analysis of the objects by experts in their subfields.

The publication project was directed by Vanessa Davies.

Please visit the publisher's website for the open access version and purchases:

The digital data from the project are stored here:
Vanessa Davies. "The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500". (2020) Vanessa Davies (Ed.) . Released: 2020-12-04. Open Context. <> DOI: ARK (Archive):

Fouilles de Tel Yarmouth (1980-2009). Rapport final. Volume 1: Les fouilles sur l’acropole.
Jasmin, Michaël, and Pierre de Miroschedji, Fouilles de Tel Yarmouth (1980-2009). Rapport final. Volume 1: Les fouilles sur l’acropole. (Peeters: Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement 56, 2020), pp. 582 + XXXII.Abstract

Tel Yarmuth is a major archaeological site of the southern Levant, located 25 km south-west of Jerusalem. In the Early Bronze Age, it was the largest fortified city-state of this region. Long after its abandonment around 2400 BCE, it was reoccupied on the acropolis only, which remained settled more or less continuously from the Middle Bronze Age II (17th-16th cent. BCE) to the Early Byzantine Period (4th cent. CE). The site is identified with the biblical settlement of Yarmuth and the Byzantine village of Iermochos. This volume is the first monograph of the final publication of the excavations conducted between 1980 and 2009. It is devoted to the excavations on the acropolis where the entire settlement history of Yarmuth was established. It provides an account of those excavations, a detailed presentation of the stratigraphy, extensive descriptions of the pottery and the various archaeological artefacts and ecofacts, and a discussion of the archaeological and biblical contexts of the site’s history. The continuous archaeological sequence from the Late Bronze II to the end of the Iron Age I (c. 1200-950 BCE) is especially noteworthy. It illustrates the fate of a Canaanite village in the shadow of larger regional centers during the momentous centuries that witnessed the decline of the Canaanite polities, the rise of the Philistine city-states and the emergence of the kingdom of Judah.

The publication project was directed by Michaël Jasmin.

Please visit the publisher's website to order or for more information: 



Oropos Excavations. The Protogeometric and Sub-Protogeometric Periods
Mazarakis-Ainian, Alexandros, Oropos Excavations. The Protogeometric and Sub-Protogeometric Periods (University of Thessaly, 2020).Abstract

Alexander Mazarakis Ainian directed the publication project on the old rescue excavations of the Greek Archaeological Service at Skala Oropou and Nea Palatia (northern Attica, Greece) which yielded evidence for human occupation of the period between the 10th and the 6th centuries BC (Protogeometric, Geometric, Earlv Archaic, Archaic). These excavations were conducted in the years between 1985 and 1987 by the late Aliki Dragona. The study concerns two main excavations, that of the plot of the Telephone Company (OTE) at Nea Palatia, and that of the School (OSK property) at Skala Oropou.


The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 Excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and Other Essays
Tanasi, Davide, and David Cardona, ed. The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 Excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and Other Essays (Archaeopress, 2020), pp. 188.Abstract

The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and other essays is a collection of essays focusing on the reassessment of the multifaceted evidence which emerged by excavations carried out in 1909 and 1959 in the settlement of Bahrija, a key site for the understanding of the later stages of Maltese prehistory before the beginning of the Phoenician colonial period. The two excavations, largely unpublished, produced a large quantity of ceramic, stone and metal artefacts together with skeletal remains. The reappraisal of the material will shed light on critical moments of central Mediterranean prehistory. Main topics such as the Aegean-Sicily-Malta trade network, mass migration movements from the Balkans towards the Central Mediterranean and the colonial dynamics of the Phoenicians operating in the West are addressed in the light of new data and with the support of an array of archaeometric analyses.

About the Editors
Davide Tanasi is an expert of Mediterranean prehistory and the archaeology of ancient Sicily and Malta, in which fields he has published several papers and monographic volumes such as: D. Tanasi, N. Vella (eds), Site, artefacts, landscape: prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta, Polimetrica 2011, and D. Tanasi & N. Vella (eds), The late prehistory of Malta: Essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites, Archaeopress, 2015.

David Cardona is Senior Curator of Phoenician, Roman and Medieval sites with the governmental agency Heritage Malta. He is a specialist of Roman and Late Roman archaeology and in this field he is about to publish a comprehensive work on Malta entitled Roman buildings and their architecture in Malta. His research interests include landscape archaeology, archaeology of technology and architecture.

Please view or purchase the full volume from the publisher's website: ARCHAEOPRESS

The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus.
Ostrasz, Antoni A. The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus. ed. Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz (Archaeopress, 2020), pp. 504.Abstract

By Antoni A. Ostrasz (1929-1996) with contributions by Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz

The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus publishes the unique draft manuscript by the late architect and restorer Antoni Ostrasz, the study of Roman circuses and the complex fieldwork for the restoration of the Jarash Hippodrome, a work in progress abruptly ended both in writing and in the field by his untimely death in October 1996. The manuscript is presented as it is in order to retain the authenticity of his work. It is, therefore, an unusual publication providing the researcher as well as restorer of ancient monuments with unparalleled insights of architectural studies for anastyloses. Compendia A and B have been added to supplement the incomplete segments of the manuscript with regard to his studies as well as archaeological data. This concerns the excavation and preparation for the restorations and the archaeological history or stratigraphic history of the site from the foundations to primary use as a circus to subsequent occupancies of the circus complex. The study of the architectural and archaeological remains at the hippodrome encapsulates the sequence of the urban history of the town from its early beginnings to Roman Gerasa and Byzantine and Islamic Jarash, including vestiges of the seventh century plague and still visible earthquake destructions, as well as Ottoman settlements.

About the Authors
Antoni Adam Ostrasz M.Eng PhD (Warsaw 1958, 1967) began his overseas work as research architect with the Polish Archaeological Centre in Cairo from 1961-1966 before joining expeditions to Alexandria, Palmyra and Nea Paphos. He was commissioned by the Syrian Authorities at Palmyra to prepare the restorations of several monuments, recently destroyed. He continued his architectural studies at Fustat and later joined the ‘Jarash Archaeological Project’ where he studied and restored the Umayyad House and the Church of Bishop Marianos. In 1984, the Dept of Antiquities appointed him as permanent director for the restoration project of the Hippodrome at Jarash.

Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz graduated in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney where she completed her postgraduate thesis on Cypriot ceramics. She began excavating in Jordan with the University of Sydney in 1975, followed by several international and long-term archaeological projects at Jarash and other Decapolis cities in Jordan. She became Hon. Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and was made Hon. Lecturer at ANU/Canberra in 2019 where she offers Masterclasses in the study of ceramics and other artefacts.

View or purchase the full volume from the publisher's website: ARCHAEOPRESS


Tell Afis. The Excavations of Areas E2-E4. Phases V-I. The End of the Late Bronze/ Iron Age I Sequence. Stratigraphy, Pottery and Small Finds.
Venturi, Fabrizio, Tell Afis. The Excavations of Areas E2-E4. Phases V-I. The End of the Late Bronze/ Iron Age I Sequence. Stratigraphy, Pottery and Small Finds. (Firenze, Studi di Archeologia Siriana 4, Le Lettere, 2020).Abstract

Tell Afis is situated in the Syrian province of Idlib, 50 km SE of Aleppo. The archaeological project directed by Stefania Mazzoni took place between 1986 and 2010, and produced documented evidence of an occupation stretching from the fourth millennium BCE to the Neo-Assyrian period. Areas E2-E4, opened on the western edge of the acropolis, have yielded a continuous sequence, divided into eight phases, spanning the Late Bronze and Iron Age periods. These volumes present the final excavation report of phases V-I which cover the period between the end of the 13th and the 8th c. BCE.  During these centuries the Northern Levant was marked by important events which deeply changed its political, social and economic order. The political rise and the sudden fall of the Hittite empire, the collapse of the city-state political system, the emergence of new cultural entities attributed to migrants identified with the Sea Peoples quoted by the Egyptian kings Merneptah and Ramses III and the re-organization of the territory in regional polities ruled by Luwian and Aramaean dynasties, are all factors which contributed to the formation of the cultural and political landscape of the 9th-8th c. BCE.

The sequence of Areas E2-E4 yields a picture of a site which actively participated in these changes and was able to cross this troubled period by constantly reshaping its cultural and economic structure until becoming in the 8th c. BCE a flourishing center, likely to be identified with Hazrek,  the capital of the Aramaean king Zakkur.

The publication by Fabrizio Venturi is composed of two volumes: the first dedicated to text, the second to plates. The arguments in Volume I are divided into six parts with the following subjects:

Part I is dedicated to a general description of the site and its region and to the history of the site’s excavations. Also presented are the methods used in material recording and the database setting.

Part II is dedicated to the stratigraphy of phases V-I. At the end of each phase description a chapter is devoted to the planimetric analyses of the buildings and to the functional partition of their spaces.

Part III is dedicated to the typological analysis of pottery, divided into chapters corresponding to the different phases. The assemblages are analyzed both on a diachronic level and in comparison with other regional pottery horizons. This part concludes with a chapter in which the development of the Tell Afis production is synthesized together with a relative chronology proposal based on diagnostic materials.

Part IV presents a selection of the collected small finds, arranged in functional and typological categories.

Part V is dedicated to the presentation of the analyses carried out on the organic and ceramic materials. Chapter V.1 shows the results of 14C analyses which have allowed an absolute chronology proposal, discussed in comparisons with the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean documentation. Chapter V.2 presents the petrographic and geochemical analyses on a selected group of sherds with a particular emphasis on Iron Age I Aegeanizing pottery.

Part VI is divided into six chapters and it presents the excavation data framed in their historical context. Chapter VI.1 analyzes the site in 13th c. BCE and the dynamics linked to the political expansion of Hittites in the SE Syrian provinces. Chapters VI.2-3 discuss the complex issue concerning the identification of the Sea People migration throughout textual and material culture, the impact that the new Aegeanizing elements had in the Tell Afis local cultural framework and the patterns of their progressive assimilation. Chapter VI.4 is dedicated to the emergence in the site (and in its region) of the Aramaeans. Finally Chapters VI.5-6 are dedicated respectively to the Iron Age periodization of the Northern Levant and the conclusions.

Volume II is divided into the following five sections:

I-II – Introduction, architecture and stratigraphy (maps and plans)

III – The pottery (drawings)

IV – The small finds (drawings)

II-III-IV – Architecture, pottery and small finds (photos)

V – 14C and minero-petrographic/geochemical analyses (photos)

Please visit the publisher's website for purchasing information:


El-Qitar. A Bronze Age Fortress on the Euphrates
McClellan, Thomas, El-Qitar. A Bronze Age Fortress on the Euphrates, SUBARTU XLI (Brepols, 2019), pp. 516 (+xxiv), 322 b/w, 47 tables b/w.Abstract
Located along the River Euphrates, in modern-day Syria, el-Qitar was a mountain fortress of the Middle Bronze Age. Excavations, fully analysed in this volume for the first time, revealed extensive fortifications, with two city gates, multiple towers, a fosse, an earthen rampart, and casemate walls, in addition to a public building lined with orthostats of the Middle Bronze Age. After a short time, the site was abandoned and, following a gap of several centuries, re-settled in the Late Bronze Age. It was then that upper and lower settlements were established within the old fortifications, possibly in the wake of Hittite campaigns in Northern Syria that destroyed nearby towns. Detailed analyses of ceramics and objects explore the possibility that el-Qitar was re-occupied by local refugees. This volume traces the changing function of the site over time, arguing that el-Qitar might have been the site known as Dur Samsi-Addu during the Middle Bronze Age, and Til-Abnu of the Late Bronze Age. The latest construction episode belongs to the modern-day Tishreen Dam.
Death in Mycenaean Laconia: A Silent Place
Gallou, Chrysanthi, Death in Mycenaean Laconia: A Silent Place (Oxbow, 2019), pp. 296.Abstract
A Silent Place: Death in Mycenaean Lakonia is the first book-length systematic study of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) burial tradition in south-eastern Peloponnese, Greece, and the first to comprehensively present and discuss all Mycenaean tombs and funerary contexts excavated and/or simply reported in the region from the 19th century to present day. The book will discuss and reconstruct the emergence and development of the Mycenaean mortuary tradition in Lakonia by examining the landscape of death, the burial architecture, the funerary and post-funerary customs and rituals, and offering patterns over a longue durée. 
The author proposes patterns of continuity from the Middle Bronze Age (even the Early Bronze Age in terms of burial architecture) to the LBA and, equally important, from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age,and reconstructs diachronic processes of invention of tradition and identity in Mycenaean communities, on the basis of tomb types and their material culture. The text highlights the social, political and economic history of Late Bronze Age Lakonia from the evolution of the Mycenaean civilisation and the establishment of palatial administration in the Spartan vale, to the demise of Mycenaean culture and the turbulent post–collapse centuries, as reflected by the burial offerings. 
The book also brings to publication the chamber tombs at Epidavros Limera that remained largely unpublished since their excavation in the 1930s and 1950s. Epidavros Limera was one of the most important prehistoric coastal sites in prehistoric southern Greece (early 3rd–late 4th millennium BC), and one of the main harbour towns of the Mycenaean administrative centres of central Lakonia. It is one of very few Mycenaean sites that flourished uninterruptedly from the emergence of the Mycenaean civilisation until after the collapse of the palatial administration and into the transition to the Early Iron Age. The present study of the funerary architecture and of the pottery from the tombs suggests that the site was responsible for the introduction of the chamber tomb type on the Greek mainland in the latest phase of the Middle Bronze Age (definitely no later than the transitional Middle Bronze Age/Late Bronze Age period), and not in the early phase of the Late Bronze Age (Late Helladic I) as previously assumed.

The volume is authored by Dr. Chrysanthi Gallou.
For ordering information please visit the publisher's webpage HERE

Gallou 2

About Tell Tweini (Syria): Artefacts, Ecofacts, and Landscape. Research Results of the Belgian Mission
Bretschneider, Joachim, and Greta Jans, ed. About Tell Tweini (Syria): Artefacts, Ecofacts, and Landscape. Research Results of the Belgian Mission (Leuven, Belgium, Peeters, 2019), pp. 651.Abstract

The site of Tell Tweini is located 35°22’18” North; 35°56’42” East, on the southern bank of the Rumeilah River in the Syrian coastal plain, approximately 1,5 km east of modern-day Jebleh and 40 km south of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Ugarit. Since 1999, the site of ca. 12 hectares is under excavation by the Syro-Belgian team headed by Dr. M. Al-Maqdissi (Department of Antiquities, Damascus - Field B) and Prof. J. Bretschneider (Field A and C).

As one of the few sites under excavation in the Northern Levant with a full archaeological sequence spanning the Early Bronze Age IV (ca. 2400 B.C.) up to the Iron III period (ca. 500 B.C.), Tell Tweini (Field A) is a key site for the study of the developments in the Northern Levant, especially where the Bronze to Iron Age transition is concerned, and an ideal starting point from which to approach the nature of the transitional period. Tweini was part of the Ugaritic Kingdom and is large enough to reflect transformations taking place on a regional as well as a supra-regional scale.

The lead researcher for the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program project was Prof. J. Bretschneider, Ancient Near Eastern archaeologist and Field Director of the Belgian branch of the Syro-Belgian Tell Tweini Project (Fields A & C) between 1999 and 2005 and Director since 2006. Joachim Bretschneider coordinated and supervised the collection of all the Tweini data and material and managed all available knowledge related to the different periods and disciplines. He organized the production and the publication of the monograph including a full study of assorted topics concerning the A Field - more specifically the loom weights, the pot marks, the glyptic and scarabs, the communal Middle Bronze Age grave, the Cypriot pottery, the bio-archaeology and the landscape - in a proper chronological and socio-political context. Bretschneider worked with colleagues from different fields to synthesize accounts of architecture, stratigraphy, ceramics, other artefacts and environmental data. 

Sha'ar Hagolan 5. Early Pyrotechnology: Ceramics and White Ware
Garfinkel, Yosef, Sha'ar Hagolan 5. Early Pyrotechnology: Ceramics and White Ware (Jerusalem, The Institute of Archaeology – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. QEDEM 14. 2019), pp. 275.Abstract

This work by Yosef Garfinkel is the fifth volume publishing the results of the extensive excavations at Sha῾ar Hagolan, an 8000-year-old Neolithic village located in the Central Jordan Valley in Israel, comprising one of the most important sites of the Yarmukian culture in the entire region. This volume focuses on the development of pyrotechnology, discussing the initial organization of the pottery industry and the final stages of the production of burnt lime vessels, the so-called White Ware, that preceded it. The volume contains eight chapters that present the pottery assemblage and the clay objects on a typological and quantitative basis, along with petrographic analysis and spatial distribution in completely excavated building complexes. A technological discussion of the pottery technology is offered by a professional modern potter and Neolithic White Ware items are discussed as well.

Please visit the publication pages for volumes 3 and 4.